Katherine Zappone Dreams Her Pragmatist’s Dream


Underestimate not a woman of my agility.

I once used one of my better handbags

to carry the King’s distressed head home,

when those without expense accounts, or subtlety,

rudely separated it from the rest of him.


I’ll be Minister for this, that,

anything you want; will gladly

spend my days looking into

slurry tanks, or inspecting

military parades, if the price is

adequate, which we both know

it will be.


When I visit her as part

of the celebrations to mark

the two hundredth anniversary

of the potato famine, I plan

to give her majesty a small

but exquisitely formed

figurine of me, tastefully

painted toe to head

in gold leaf. If we both live

long enough, which I now

expect we will,


for me to tell her about the time

I handed the Tsar a hanky

when all his battleships were sunk

and the families of the sacrificed

reacted surprisingly badly.


KEVIN HIGGINS is The Bogman’s Cannon Satirist-in-Residence.